‘Every Day a Deep Drink from Hollow Ground’
“Every Day a Deep Drink from a Hollow Gourd”
By Maya Janson
Every day Exhibit “A” of all that is unknown, unknowable.
A feather falling from an unseen bird caught
in an invisible updraft.
It’s time to cover the roses, pluck the last cherry
tomato from the vine. Hard little fruit, not quite red.
Not the arterial red of our hearts but still, bright
enough and illuminated from within
like the paper lanterns I loosely strung
in the East Chop dowager’s garden, the summer I left home,
a hired, clumsy girl in an apron given to staring out windows
at the fog settling over the Sound, hearing in the blah-blah
of the horn some version of my name not yet spoken.
Fog the color of the heiress who was each day a little less
here, a ghost in a kimono, stopped at the backyard grave
of her beloved gone dog, the Victrola mascot,
little lop-eared hound of my youth.
These days I stand beneath an oak so big it calls for
a different unit of measure. Feeling smallish. Hen-pecked
by my watch, my heels nipped at by the small, vigilant
collie of my cell phone. Phone which I have placed on silence.
Whose ringer I told not to. I’m thinking about
the leaves that have not yet fallen. Leaves that cling
to the upper branches where the sun is strongest.
All that concentrated, canary-yellow light,
trapped in the tree’s interior rooms but still singing.